This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

reminiscing and planning

sunflower tomato martini drawing squash flower
chard aster watercolor carrots
July garden oilpaint
June garden drawing
These are more photos of my garden from last year. I edited them yesterday with software that makes them look like paintings. I like the bright colors. As I look at them, I am wondering what this year's garden will be like...

I am finding photos very helpful for planning. This spring, I will remove a couple of bushes on the house side of the path (bottom of photos), which will add about 50 sq ft of additional space. The tomatoes, eggplants and peppers will go there. Should be warm and sunny against the house. The beans and peas that crowded my pink rose (on the fence) last year will be better off where the tomatoes are this year. I will use innoculant to get them going in the new location. The two middle beds will hold low row crops: carrots, lettuce, beets, etc. I'll move the cukes and summer squash to the far right bed.... I have a planting diagram that I drew up a couple of months ago. I'll do a quick revision of it before spring planting so I remember these plans.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

link

I was just reading the redesigned Garden Blogs List site at The Providence Journal. Along, with about 200 other gardening sites, Sheila has added a link to my site. She writes:

Skippy's Vegetable Garden is east of Boston, and it's a study in snow-covered plots. Skippy is a Portuguese water dog whose owner, Kathy, hasn't broken it to him that it's not his garden alone.

To relieve all that whiteness, she's pulled up photos from last year's garden -- a kind sight for winter eyes.

She's posted her 2007 seed order, too, which might give you some ideas.


As Shelia writes, all us Northern gardeners are pretty much on hold now, and buried in snow and ice.

And, by the way, I'm actually located west of Boston. There's not much to the east of Boston - it gets pretty wet....

winter wonderland

sticky snow
Yesterday's snow was the sticky type that sticks to all the tree branches and makes it look like a winter wonderland. The forcast says more snow is on the way.

Monday, February 26, 2007

what's this?

snowed under
I think this may be some odd vegetable in my garden! The neighbors keep looking at it funny. There used to be a little garden gnome out there, but I couldn't find him anywhere this morning.

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snowy watercolors

snowy garden watercolor
Skip by my  snowcovered garden snowy garden gate
Its another snowy day. We're getting a couple inches of fresh white fluffy snow. I have found a feature that converts images to "watercolors" with the software for my new Olympus camera. So these are snowy pictures of my garden with a different look.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

garden pictures from last year

garden pictures from last year
Without anything going on in the garden, I am yet again fooling around with last years photos... Sometime last fall, I set up a Flickr account and started uploading my photos there. Its a way to blog a higher resolution photo than Blogger uploads allow. Flickr has all sorts of features for tagging and grouping and rating photos. The photos in this composite are the ones that have been viewed the most. Some of the photos, I wonder why they get viewed. Why do people view my thermometer (46 views)? Or frost on the grass (63 views)? Or my dead lettuce (57 views)? And that funny photo of Skippy's nose gets by far the most views of any photo I've ever taken (252 views). I understand the martini photo views (42 views), that was a good one! My original garden martini recipe. And those carrots (75 views) were really a good crop. Its fun to see which photos get viewed the most.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Not much going on in my garden! Snow, snow, snow....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

melting snow

garden corner gnome
Our snow has melted a bit. We've had two beautiful, sunny warm days. Maybe my garden gnome will be able to get back to work soon. His wheelbarrow is still buried, but at least he's breathing easier now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

snowed under

snowed under
My garden gnome is pretty well snowed under today. We got about about 5 inches of wet snow yesterday that has now frozen rock solid. Poor old gnome. My carrots and garlic are buried under there too.

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another snowy garden picture

snow garden

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

View with new camera

garden
This is another photo with my new camera. I think it gives me a slightly wider view than my old camera. Today is a very snowy day and we have a couple inches of fresh snow.

Its taking me a while to get used to my new camera (Olympus Stylus 720 SW). I have trouble with the lens cover, which closes every time I turn the camera off. If there's any moisture on the lens, it then smears when I turn the camera on and doesn't focus well. I think because it has such high resolution and such a small lens, it is hard to focus anyway. The camera also has many settings to figure out. Maybe just a better and more complex camera than my previous one and I will continue to work at it.

The bushes to the right in this photo are two of the bushes I plan to remove this spring to make room for more vegetables. Closest to the fence is a large rhododendron, next to it is a yew. I think my tomatoes will do well in this spot against the south side of the house.

aerial views of my home vegetable garden

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happy valentines day

valentine roses
Most of these roses grew in my garden last summer. Especially Othello, First Kiss and Dorothy Perkins. A couple are store-bought roses that I photographed in a vase on our table.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

more seeds


Seeds are on display in stores now and its hard to resist buying a few extra packets. I picked up some arugla and a hot pepper mix. I'll have to start the peppers indoors soon. I haven't done this in years because its alot of work, but I thought I'd start just one type of seed this year - around March 15 for peppers in our area.

S&P
Capsicum

Friday, February 09, 2007

long shadows

long shadows
Here's one of my first photos with my new little camera. It'll take me some time to get used to it. The first thing I notice is the colors don't seem as nice as my old camera, but I'll need to try it in different lighting and subjects to really compare. This photo is unedited, except for a little cropping.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

new camera

Well, my old camera finally bit the dust. After 10,000 photos and 2 1/2 years, I dropped it (a Pentax Optio WP) yesterday (about the 5th time I've dropped it) and it seems like the shutter won't open. The camera store said $150 at minimum to fix it, so I bought a brand new camera! Very exciting. I got an Olympus Stylus 720 SW. Its shockproof (!) to 5 ft, waterproof to 10 ft, digital image stabilization, 7.1 Mp and a nice little body that fits in my pocket (or mitten). The battery is charging right now and I'm looking forward to trying it out tomorrow. If I can't dig in the garden, its nice to have fun with a brand new camera.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Skippy and my frozen garlic

snow covered garlic Skippy in profile
I assume the garlic is doing fine down under the snow and ice. 70 days until spring planting, and counting.

Allium sativum
more pictures of skip

















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